Canada to offer humanitarian visas to those fleeing Sudan if relatives pay costs

Ottawa is offering a lifeline to people fleeing an escalating civil war in Sudan if they have relatives in Canada who agree to financially support them.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller says this new humanitarian pathway is for both Sudanese citizens and other foreign citizens who lived in Sudan when conflict broke out in mid-April.

The program applies to people who are either a child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or sibling to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Those relatives have to agree to financially support them, though Ottawa has not said how much money this will require.

People must apply for the program and complete the typical security and biometric screening used for visa applicants, such as fingerprinting.

Duelling militias began a civil war in Sudan this spring that has caused some five million people to flee, including many who were refugees from neighbouring countries.

-The Canadian Press

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